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Singers

For those learning singing and wanting to know more about their voice

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b2ap3_thumbnail_blow-flower.jpgTraining the voice with a semi-occluded vocal tract is a technique used by voice therapists; by teachers of singing; by acting coaches; and by choral directors. To semi-occlude the vocal tract means to partially block off the flow of air while simultaneously singing.  Some common examples include: lip bubbles; tongue roll (trill); puffing up the cheeks as if attempting to whistle; and singing into some sort of tube such as a narrow drinking straw.  

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It's not always easy to find a great singing teacher!   It often surprises me who is out there working with voices. You cannot practice as a doctor without a medical degree and most professions have minimum skill and training requirements  However, it seems that almost anyone can call themselves a voice coach or singing teacher. There are many misconceptions out there about singing teachers and some of these are:

  • The teacher has a great voice so they must be able to teach me to sound like that
  • This teacher has an exclusive method which s/he claims is better than any other method
  • This person is popular so they must be a good teacher
  • This teacher claims to have taught a lot of pop stars so they must be good
  • This person has had a distinguished performing career, so they must be able to teach.

There are many methods of singing and many styles for teaching someone to sing! No single teacher has all the answers and no single method is right for all students. Some students will always succeed, despite bad teaching, on their talent alone. Please click "read more" for a list of ideas that will help you choose a good singing teacher:

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Today's post was inspired by some questions a student asked me. His questions were: "How does Adam Lambert sing so amazingly? Is he a tenor or a bass?" and "will I ever be able to sing like that?"

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The larynx (commonly called the voicebox) is an organ made of cartilage, muscle and bone which is suspended in your throat. It houses your vocal folds and the most visible part of the larynx is a lump or protrusion in the neck formed by the thyroid cartilage and commonly referred to as "the Adam's apple. There are two families of muscles connected to the larynx. The Intrinsic muscles sit inside the larynx and are responsible for controlling the vocal folds, while the extrinsic (outer) muscles are responsible for adjusting the vertical position (posture) of the layrnx within your neck. Total Music technique teaches you to sing with a stabilised larynx which means we aim for minimal interference from the extrinsic laryngeal muscles and this allows the instrinsic muscles to do their work more efficiently. Singing with a stabilised larynx is just one of the co-ordinations needed to maintain a healthy and functional voice technique.

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Tagged in: Voice anatomy
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We all breathe every minute of our lives! It seems crazy that someone has to learn to breath all over again when they learn to sing. While it may share some similarities, breathing for singing is not the same as breathing for living! Singing places demands on our breath that are not encountered in day to day life. A normal breath cycle lasts between 4 and 5 seconds, but singing requires us to extend (prolong) the breath cycle (sometimes for as long as 20 seconds) and to manage the outward flow of air. To do this skilfully requires practice and that a singer develops their body-awareness.

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